Minister Nerlynn Etienne
CONSIDER ANOTHER LANGUAGE
According to Psychology Today, approximately 20% of all Americans are bilingual. This means that they speak another language in addition to English. The advantages of speaking a second language include strengthening cognitive skills, sensitivity to different cultures, and the expansion of communication to a larger demographic. Those of us, who have pondered the idea of venturing into bilingualism, have a challenging task before us. Not only is it increasingly difficult to develop new linguistic as we get older, but what language should we study? The language that I recommend is found in God’s Word.
RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD AND HIS WORD
John 15:7 says, “If you abide in Me and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you” (NASB). In this verse, Jesus promises that whatever we ask shall be done based on these two conditions; we “abide” in Him and His words “abide” in us. The word “abide” means to dwell, remain, or stay. So by asking us to abide in Him and His words in us, God expects us to have a relationship with His being and with His word.
God desires that we have a relationship with Him and His Word so that when we pray we aren’t speaking a foreign language. Unanswered prayers may not be a result of failure to petition, but a result of speaking a language to God that isn’t His. I am convinced that many people are uncomfortable praying because they don’t know what to say other than their wish-list. It’s like speaking Spanglish (English and Spanish intertwined) to someone who only speaks Spanish. Sure, some of the words coming out of your mouth are valid but collectively how effective are they to the hearer? We must learn His language in order to successfully communicate.
HOW TO LEARN A NEW LANGUAGE
A new language is learned by listening, cultural engagement and most importantly reading. By studying the Bible we engage in all three and simultaneously are prepared for godly conversation. Prayer provides the opportunity to exercise the studied language of God with God. When we pray God’s word back to Him, we will inevitably receive a response. God’s word which is “living” and “active” provokes activity (Heb. 4:12). It is by His words He created the universe and by His words all of creation is sustained (Ps. 119:90-91).
UNDERSTANDING HIM THROUGH HIS LANGUAGE
A new linguistic also teaches us a lot about the people of that particular culture. Through language we can understand their behaviors, practices, and ideologies. John 1:1 tells us that, “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God” (NASB). God and His words are one. If we are to accept God, we must accept the fullness of His being. When He created the heavens and the earth by His words, He created them through Him Self. He is His word and His word is Him. The two are synopsis and to try to accept one apart from the other is erroneous. The language of God and the being of God are as inseparable as the Trinity. Learning the language of God is part of learning who God is.
THE ETERNAL LANGUAGE
As children of God we must remember that we are foreigners in this world (John 18:36). We currently reside on earth and in order to function we must be able to communicate, but keep in mind that this current life is temporary. Our eternal place of residency is different in nature and linguistics. Let’s make every effort to learn the language of our Father because His word is eternal (Matt. 24:35). His language will forever be here and if we desire to reap its benefits we need to get into the Book. Being multilingual is commendable and looks good on a resume but how useful are those languages if none of them can be used to speak to God?